Sunday, May 22, 2016

No Precedent for ‘1st First Gentleman’

1st First Gentleman, whether he is or not. An ex-president is always called 

"President So-and-so", so if Hilary Clinton is elected President, there will be two President Clintons in the White House. They will be referred to as President Bill Clinton and President Hilary Clinton according to custom, so it is not likely that Bill will be called the "First Gentleman" at all.

Unlike legislative or judicial titles, executive titles do not persist after leaving office (a result of our disdain for monarchy, one assumes). The press often refers to Bill Clinton as "former president" or "ex-president" but this are improper. His formal title is Mr. Clinton. "First Lady" is the title of the hostess of the White House, not the President's wife. From Jan 3, 2000 to Jan 20, 2000 Chelsea Clinton was our youngest First Lady (since her mother, Hilary, abdicated the office when she became Senator). She may resume the role - a politically favorable move, I would think.

The question – what will we call the husband of the nation's first female president? – may seem minor, but it has more possible answers than you'd think. 

Bill, 68, told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that his Scottish friends had their own suggestion: "My Scottish friends say I should be called 'first laddie' because it's the closest thing to 'first lady.' I'm not so worried about what I'm called as what I'm called upon to do." 

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